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Article

Alexander Nagel

[Fr. postautel, retable; Ger. Altar, Altaraufsatz, Altarbild, Altarretabel, Altarrückwand, Retabel; It. ancona, dossale, pala (d’altare); Sp. retablo]

An image-bearing structure set on the rear part of the altar (see Altar, §II), abutting the back of the altarblock, or set behind the altar in such a way as to be visually joined with the altar when viewed from a distance. It is also sometimes called a retable, following the medieval term retrotabulum [retabulum, retrotabularium].

The altarpiece was never officially prescribed by the Church, but it did perform a prescribed function alternatively carried out by a simple inscription on the altarblock: to declare to which saint or mystery the altar was dedicated. In fact, the altarpiece did more than merely identify the altar; its form and content evoked the mystery or personage whose cult was celebrated at the altar. This original and lasting function influenced the many forms taken by the altarpiece throughout its history. Since the altarpiece was not prescribed by the Church, its form varied enormously. For this reason, it is often impossible, and historically inaccurate, to draw neat distinctions between the altarpiece and other elements occasionally associated with the altar apparatus. For example, movable statues, often of the Virgin and Child, were occasionally placed on altars according to ritual needs, and at those times fulfilled the function of the altarpiece....

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Ferenc Batári

(b c. 1704; d after 1767).

Hungarian wood-carver and Jesuit. He was a novice in the Society of Jesus at Trencsén (now Trenčín, Slovakia) and worked as a wood-carver in the Jesuit workshop until 1735; following this he worked in Esztergom and Vienna. From 1749 to 1760 he was the head of the Jesuit workshop at Székesfehérvár. The furnishings and fittings of the former Jesuit church there, St John of Nepomuk, and the rich, ornamental carvings of the priory and pharmacy (all ...

Article

Hannelore Hägele

(b Pfarrkirchen, Upper Bavaria, c. 1660; d Augsburg, Jan 31, 1738).

German sculptor. He was the son of the sculptor Johann Christian Bendl, with whom he trained. Having become a journeyman, he travelled for six years, probably to Bohemia and Venice. On his return he entered in 1684 the workshop in Augsburg of Johann Jakob Rill (fl c. 1686–99); on 26 November 1687 he was made a master and also became a citizen of Augsburg. He was the city’s leading sculptor during the late Baroque period; many important churches in and outside of Augsburg had sculptures by him. He worked mostly in wood, but also in stone, terracotta and stucco, and probably in ivory and metal as well. For jewellers and goldsmiths he produced models, such as a figure of St Sebastian (1714–15) and a crucifix (1716). His major work included two series of life-size statues: one, of the Apostles, for St Moritz and the other, of the ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St Ann, 1917).

Jamaican painter and sculptor. A self-taught mystic and visionary, unknown until the late 1960s, he drew his artistic inspiration from a very personal interpretation of two Afro-Christian Jamaican cults, Rastafarianism and Revivalism. His imagery developed through meditation and techniques similar to the automatism of the Surrealists. The curious limestone formations found in Jamaica frequently served as a source of inspiration, as in Bush Have Ears (1976; Kingston, N.G.). He also made ritual objects, such as carved wooden staffs and decorated musical instruments. During the 1970s he worked in close collaboration with his son Clinton Brown (b 1954), who also received substantial critical acclaim.

V. Poupeye-Rammelaere: ‘The Rainbow Valley: The Life and Work of Brother Everald Brown’, Jamaica Journal, 21/2 (May–June 1988), pp. 2–14G. Mosquera: ‘Everald Brown’, Ante América (exh. cat. by G. Mosquera and others, Bogotá, Banco de la República, 1992), pp. 25–30V. Poupeye: Caribbean Art...

Article

Robin A. Branstator

[Morten]

(d Copenhagen, 1553).

Danish sculptor and architect. His sculptural work shows a precocious awareness of early Renaissance art, suggesting that he trained in the workshop of Claus Berg in Odense. He first served Christian II, King of Denmark (reg 1512–23), as architect and sculptor and had settled in Copenhagen by 1523. His tombstone sculptures equal or surpass his architectural successes. The first in his series of gravestone reliefs was of Elisabeth of Habsburg (c. 1523; Copenhagen, Nmus.), Christian II’s queen, a pendant to an earlier representation of King John (1503; Copenhagen, Nmus.), sculpted by Adam van Düren. The limestone high relief had a conventional Gothic framework but hinted at Bussaert’s mature work in the more naturalistic folds of Elisabeth’s gown. After Christian II fled to the Netherlands in 1523, Bussaert elected to remain in Copenhagen in the employ of the newly crowned Frederick I (reg 1523–34). Frederick rewarded Bussaert well, naming him master builder in ...

Article

Alison Manges Nogueira

Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray Christ before Caiaphas, the Mocking of Christ, Christ before Pilate, Pilate Washing his Hands, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. The culminating Easter scenes reflect the paschal candle’s function during the Easter season as a symbol of Christ resurrected, as evoked in an inscription on the base. A second fragmentary inscription refers to the unidentifiable patron’s desire for commemoration. A third inscription identifies Nicolaus de Angelo as the master sculptor and Petrus Vassallettus as playing a secondary role. Both were active in the second half of the 12th to the early 13th century and came from leading families of Roman sculptors: the Vassalletti and Cosmati (Nicolaus’s family). The candlestick is the only work signed by and securely attributed to Nicolaus and the scope of his contribution remains uncertain. A plausible theory attributes the base and first register to Petrus, based upon similarities to works signed by him and ascribed to his family, such as the cloister of S Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and the narthex of S Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. Nicolaus probably executed the Christological scenes, distinguishable for their more dynamic, expressive figures and decorative chisel work, and appropriate for the master sculptor because of their centrality and significance. Early Christian sarcophagi and Carolingian ivories may have provided models for the figural types. This form of paschal candlestick was probably inspired by Roman columnar monuments carved with triumphal scenes....

Article

Gudrun Schmidt

German family of artists. The sculptor Emil Cauer the elder (b Dresden, 19 Nov 1800; d Bad Kreuznach, 4 Aug 1867) studied in Berlin under Christian Daniel Rauch. He taught art at Bonn University. At first he was more interested in painting, but then turned enthusiastically to sculpture. He settled in Bad Kreuznach in 1832. Much of his work comprises small genre scenes and figures taken from fairytales. He also modelled important figures from German history and the Reformation, such as Ulpich von Hutten and Philipp Melancthon, and characters from Shakespeare’s plays. His two sons, Carl Cauer (b Bonn, 14 Feb 1828; d Bad Kreuznach, 17 April 1885) and Robert Cauer the elder (b Dresden, 13 Feb 1831; d Kassel, 2 April 1893), both became successful sculptors. Carl was the most important member of the family. He trained with his father and then with ...

Article

Pedro Dias

[Manuel de Sousa]

(b Braga, c. 1650; d Tibães, 1716).

Portuguese sculptor. He was born to a family of craftsmen and later entered one of the many workshops of wood-carvers in Braga. In 1676, however, he entered the Benedictine order at its Portuguese mother house of Tibães, near Braga. Here he made statues and reliefs for the church of S Martinho. From this period date his St Benedict and St Gregory the Great and the relief of the Visitation, now in the Benedictine church, S Romão do Neiva. Between 1680 and 1683, during the abbotship of Frei João Osório, he made terracotta sculptures of the eight Virtues and the four Benedictine kings (Tibães, Sacristy), images that appear rather rigid and stereotyped.

Frei Cipriano da Cruz moved to Coimbra before July 1691, when it is recorded that he made the St Catherine in the chapel of the University of Coimbra. This contact with the main centre for sculpture in Portugal had a broadening effect on his art. His most important work outside Tibães is the group of serene and dignified sculptures (dispersed) that he made for the Colégio de S Bento (Benedict), Coimbra. This group includes his gilt and polychromed wooden ...

Article

Barbara Daentler

(b Wernfels-Theilenhofen, near Spalt, 1690; d Munich, March 24, 1753).

German sculptor. He was the son of a cabinetmaker. In 1712–13 he began his travels as a journeyman from Eichstätt, where he probably trained under the sculptor Christian Handschuher (fl c. 1699–1701). He visited Prague, where he met Matyás Václav Jäckel, and Italy. Around 1720 Dietrich settled near Munich and worked as an independent sculptor in turn for the court sculptor Anton Faistenberger and in the court joinery of Johann Adam Pichler (fl 1717–61). His first independent works that can be exactly dated—and the only signed ones—are two picture retable altars (1726–7) in the church at Schloss Urfarn near Reisach. The altar of the Fathers of the Church (c. 1739) at Diessen is one of the finest examples of Rococo sculpture in South Germany. Other notable works by Dietrich are the decoration of the frame altars and a Crucifix (1732) in the Hofmarkskirche at Schönbrunn; a reliquary altar (...

Article

Volkmar Essers

(b Bad Pyrmont, June 23, 1805; d Berlin, April 6, 1882).

German sculptor. He came to Berlin in October 1827 and trained in the studio of Christian Daniel Rauch who influenced him greatly for many years, and at the Königliche Akademie der Künste. In early works such as the marble relief based on Goethe’s Fifth Roman Elegy (1832; Heidelberg, priv. col., see Bloch and Grzimek, p. 141) and the marble and bronze group Nymph Catching a Butterfly (1837–9; Luxembourg, Pal. Grand-Ducal) he shows his preference for themes that connect him with ancient art and the German art of the 16th century. The style of these works is, to a large extent, drawn from works by Rauch, although Drake lent his portrayals a genre character and softened classical strictness with gentler modelling and an emphasis on expression. In the field of architectural sculpture he was content to stay within accepted architectonic limits, for example in the group of eight figures on the Schlossbrücke in Berlin (...

Article

V. Sekules

Temporary structure set up in church to simulate the place of Christ’s burial for a symbolic enactment of the Entombment and Resurrection. The Tomb of Christ and the later sacrament house, although also concerned with the bodily presence of Christ, belong to a separate tradition (see below). Special rites for Easter in which some kind of Easter sepulchre played a part are found in some 400 texts from medieval Europe. The earliest description is in the 10th-century English Regularis Concordia, according to which a cross wrapped in a linen shroud was placed in the sepulchre on Good Friday and guarded there until Easter Sunday by two or three brethren singing psalms continuously. The cross was removed from the sepulchre by the sacristan before Matins on Easter Sunday. During the service one of the brethren sat quietly by the sepulchre to represent the Angel of the Resurrection, while three others represented the Marys who found the sepulchre empty and announced the Resurrection. In this instance the sepulchre was described as a veil stretched in the form of a circle set beside the vacant part of the altar. This type of Easter sepulchre, a kind of tent, appears in the 12th-century wall paintings in the chancel at ...

Article

Annamaria Szőke

(b Budapest, July 4, 1928; d Budapest, May 22, 1986).

Hungarian architect, sculptor, conceptual and performance artist, teacher, theorist and film maker. He came from a Jewish–Christian family, many of whom were killed during World War II. In 1947 he began training as a sculptor at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, but he left and continued his studies in the studio of Dezső Birman Bokros (1889–1965), before training as an architect from 1947 to 1951 at the Technical University in Budapest. During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked as an architect and began experimenting with painting and graphic art, as well as writing poems and short stories. During this period he became acquainted with such artists as Dezső Korniss, László Latner and, most importantly, Béla Kondor and Sándor Altorjai (1933–79), with whom he began a lifelong friendship. In 1959 and 1963 he also enrolled at the Budapest College of Theatre and Film Arts but was advised to leave both times....

Article

Font  

John Thomas, Marina Falla Castelfranchi, Marchita Bradford Mauck and Iris Kockelbergh

[Lat. fons: ‘spring’]

Object in which, or by which, baptism, the Christian rite of initiation, is practised. Evolving modes of liturgical practice, most notably the adoption of infant baptism (see §3 below), resulted in widely varying physical forms and positioning within the church.

John Thomas

According to Christian belief, John the Baptist baptized people in the River Jordan, washing them clean of sin. Jesus, however, told his followers that they must be reborn through baptism: ‘except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ (John 3:5). Christian baptism is thus a ritual dying and rebirth as a new person, entering the tomb of death (or the womb, for the second time) and being resurrected to a new life, sharing in the experiences of Christ, who himself suffered death but was reborn. The font, therefore, is an item of liturgical furniture, but it is also a physical symbol, embodying the ideas of death and rebirth. Some of the earliest fonts that have been identified were shaped like a coffin or tomb; others, being circular, approximated more to the womb. The numbers six and eight are found in early baptismal architecture, in the shape of either the font or the ...

Article

Thierry Bajou

(b Paris, ?c. 1589; d Toulouse, 1673).

French painter and sculptor. He joined the Augustinian monastery in Toulouse in 1640; an inventory of his goods drawn up at this time shows him to have painted a variety of subjects, including such religious and mythological works as St John the Baptist and Female Satyr Carrying her Young (both untraced), and to have been a sculptor, producing, among other pieces, a Virgin and Child (untraced). From 1640 to 1652 he ran a busy studio at the monastery, supplying numerous religious paintings to the clergy of Toulouse and the surrounding area, as well as to private patrons. After 1652 his production declined, because of eye problems possibly suffered as a result of the plague of that year.

Only a handful of Frédeau’s works are extant, all of religious subjects. They include St Augustine Offering his Heart to the Virgin (c. 1640; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins), Jesus Appearing to his Mother...

Article

Christian Norberg-Schulz

(b Hamburg, Dec 15, 1826; d Christiania [now Oslo], Dec 12, 1882).

Norwegian architect, sculptor and painter of German birth. He studied at the Hamburgische Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Künste und nützlichen Gewerben (1840–43), afterwards training, still in Hamburg, as an architect under Alexis de Chateauneuf and then as an architect and sculptor in Cologne (1849–50). In 1850 von Hanno followed de Chateauneuf to Christiania to assist him with the construction of Trinity Church (1850–58). De Chateauneuf returned to Hamburg in 1851 because of failing health; von Hanno completed the building, simplifying de Chateauneuf’s design because of economic, as well as structural, problems. The church presents an unusual combination of a centralized, domed plan and a Gothic Revival style, much drier and heavier in detail than originally intended. Remaining in Norway for the rest of his life, von Hanno became one of Christiania’s leading architects. In collaboration with Heinrich Ernst Schirmer (1814–87), with whom he was in partnership from ...

Article

Cynthia Lawrence

(b Dinant, 1615/17; d ?Liège, Sept 18, 1676).

Flemish sculptor of French birth. He trained in Liège before leaving for Rome, where he worked in the circle of François Du Quesnoy. Although Du Quesnoy’s classicism made a deep impression on him, Henard’s style retained a significant personal element. By 1664 Henrard had returned to Liège, where he joined the Carthusian Order and decorated the cloister (destr.) of the Carthusian monastery. He restored the rood screen (destr.) of Liège Cathedral and executed a new marble high altar (destr.) donated by Maximilian-Hendrick of Bavaria, Prince Bishop of Liège. A white marble figure of the Virgin and Child (Liège, St Paul), which recalls Du Quesnoy’s St Susanna (Rome, S Maria di Loreto), has been attributed to him. Henrard also designed figures that were later executed by the foremost silversmith of Liège, Henri de Flémalle (fl c. 1672; d ?1686). These include a reliquary with St John the Baptist (Liège, St Paul), which is based on Du Quesnoy’s figure of ...

Article

Marie-Claire Burnand

(fl 1460; d Toul, 1491).

French architect and sculptor. Claims that he was born at Commercy in 1371 are unproven. Owing to the faulty reading of his lost epitaph in the Cordeliers’ church at Toul by Dom Calmet, his Christian name has been wrongly given as Rogier and the date of his death as 1460. From 1460 Jacquemin was engaged by the cathedral chapter of Toul as ‘masson’; in a document of 1474 he is described as ‘maître’. His most important work was for the façade of Toul Cathedral (now St Etienne), designed by Tristan de Hattonchatel (fl 1460). The original plans for the project have disappeared, so it is impossible to evaluate Jacquemin’s contribution to the creation of this magnificent Flamboyant façade, on which he worked until his death.

As a sculptor Jacquemin worked in the service of René II, Duke of Lorraine. In 1480 the latter commissioned an Annunciation (untraced) for the oratory of his palace, and in ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

Article

Hugo Morley-Fletcher

(b Merseburg, Nov 23, 1706; d ?Berlin, after 1738).

German sculptor and porcelain modeller. He was the brother and probably pupil of the Dresden court sculptor Johann Christian Kirchner (1681–1732). On 24 March 1727 he was employed at the Meissen Porcelain Factory as Modellmeister and was responsible for the design of tablewares. His most important achievement was the creation of the large, white animals and birds for the Japanisches Palais in Dresden of Frederick-Augustus I, Elector of Saxony. In this venture he was joined by Johann Joachim Kändler in June 1731. Kirchner’s animals were static, anthropomorphic and derived more from printed images than from actual observation of nature (see fig.). This is exemplified by his rhinoceros (possibly derived from an engraving by Dürer) and his elephant (1731; Dresden, Porzellansamml.), which bear scant resemblance to the actual animals. Kirchner was a difficult employee and colleague and he left Meissen in 1733. He was briefly employed there again in ...